Because hidden souls do not live in isolation, but are a part of the living nexus and have a position in a great divine order, we speak of an invisible Church. Their impact and affinity can remain hidden from themselves and others for their entire earthly lives. But it is also possible for some of these to become visible in the external world. This is how it was with the persons and events intertwined in the mystery of the Incarnation.
Mary and Joseph, Zechariah and Elizabeth, the shepherds and the kings, Simeon and Anna—all of these had behind them a solitary life with God and were prepared for their special tasks before they found themselves together in those awesome encounters and events and, in retrospect, could understand how the paths left behind led to this climax. Their astounded adoration in the presence of these great deeds of God is expressed in the songs of praise that have come down to us.
Saint Edith Stein
The Hidden Life and the Epiphany
Stein, E. 2014, The Hidden Life: hagiographic essays, meditations, spiritual texts, translated from the German by Stein, W, ICS Publications, Washington DC.